OPINION: November a month of transition, reflection

November marks the time of year when I try to wind down, cut back on business travel, and start planning for the next year. Preparations for the holidays begin. Get the house ready for winter. Finish the outdoor projects that lagged behind due to the heat of summer.

I am no different than any other person as to finding time. All of us are too busy. Seems something always comes along to fill any space of time we reclaim from finished works. I am told that Americans work harder than people of other countries. We work harder, but not smarter. For some reason, we find ourselves unable to just sit and reflect, unless it's that meditation class you scheduled between a working lunch and your 2:30 staff meeting, of course.

November is the month we should set aside for doing as little as possible, unless it is totally unrelated to any kind of work. Walks in the woods, sitting in the park, watching a sunset; those should be our top priorities in this month.

November is a period of transition, a changing of season. Days get shorter in our hemisphere, nights get cooler. We stock up on food for Thanksgiving, order gifts for Christmas. We wonder how the year got away from us, again. New Year's Day surely wasn't just 11 months ago. Did we do everything we planned? Does it matter if we did not?

Two events in November occur for me that at some point coincide with Thanksgiving Day. My father was born on the 25th, 1931, which was the eve of Thanksgiving. My granddaughter, Maggie, was born on the 26th in 2017, the year Dad passed away. I wish Dad had lived long enough to see Maggie. He knew she was on the way, I told him of the pregnancy, which hadn't been announced to family, when I took him to the hospital. I don't know, I think on some level I knew he wouldn't come home this time. I think it significant that their birthdays are side-by-side.

Dad loved Thanksgiving, and when his birthday would fall on that day, we would make cracks about the "turkey" of the family having a birthday. No doubt Maggie will have to deal with the same jokes occasionally. She already has a sense of humor, though, so she won't mind.

I am almost in the November of my life, but not quite. I accomplished what I was destined to do in this life, I am certain. What I have left to do is to be thankful, to make sure what has been put in place is secure, and to impart wisdom to Maggie and any other grandchild that blesses my life. I will transition at some point, as will we all. I am in no hurry to leave for the fruit is ripening and I want to taste it. Neither will I complain when the winds of the last November blow through.

-- Devin Houston is the president/CEO of Houston Enzymes. Send comments or questions to devin.ho[email protected]. The opinions expressed are those of the author.

Editorial on 11/20/2019